Dr. Silke Tönsjost
Max Voit


Study Costs

BIGS-DR raises no tuition fees. However, students applying for the doctoral program must be able to finance their study, which includes covering living costs and research costs for a minimum of 3 years. Living costs in Bonn amount to approximately 1,100 EUR per month. In addition, students will need to secure or propose how they will obtain adequate research costs for their planned field research.

BIGS-DR students are enrolled at the University of Bonn with a semester fee of around 290 EUR per term, which includes unlimited use of public transportation in the region.



There are two ways to fund studies at ZEF: 

1. BIGS-DR internal scholarship funded by the Development-Related Postgraduate Course program (EPOS) of German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). 

The requirements are to be found here: DAAD Epos

2. External funding, i.e. institutions, foundations, organizations supporting PhD- studies.

You can find appropriate donors here: Funding and Scholarships- University of Bonn

Applicants also have the option to fund themselves independently. BIGS-DR is a full-time program. Financing the doctoral program by part-time work is no option.


BIGS-DR was founded in 1999 funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Today, the doctoral program receives financial support from many donors:

  •  German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and BMZ (...) 
  • German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF)
  • Foundation fiat panis
  • Consultive Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)

They contribute to the sucess of BIGS-DR and to the education of many agents of change. Thank you!